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From Istanbul to Byzantium

Paths to Rediscovery, 1800–1955

November 23, 2021 - March 13, 2022

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a confluence of geopolitical, diplomatic, academic, artistic, and local interests in Istanbul paved the way for increased awareness of the Byzantine past as a rich and shared heritage. Pera Museum and Istanbul Research Institute’s exhibition From Istanbul to Byzantium: Paths to Rediscovery, 1800–1955, curated by Brigitte Pitarakis, explores the central role of the Ottoman capital in shaping the emerging discipline of Byzantine studies.

In Istanbul’s lively and multicultural environment, a common passion arose in intellectual circles among people from diverse backgrounds, origins, and countries who had come together in newly established cultural and academic institutions focusing on Byzantium. Over the course of transformations in the landscape set in motion by efforts to modernize the city, steps were taken to move away from the simplistic orientalist view of Constantinople as a fantastically picturesque city by adopting a rational approach to antiquities newly discovered or recently rediscovered. Those involved in documenting Istanbul’s Byzantine past not only blazed a trail in the conservation of the city’s cultural heritage but also developed scientific methods of study in their search for certainty. 

These developments—leading toward a scientific approach to Byzantium and insufficiently studied until now—stand at the center of From Istanbul to Byzantium. They are documented through an impressive array of archival holdings, in particular the Byzantine collections of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums. The juncture of circumstances and activities that triggered interest in Istanbul’s Byzantine past is contextualized by bringing together Byzantine artifacts along with related books, prints, maps, photographs, documents and paintings from the collections of Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Istanbul University Rare Books Library, Ömer Koç, Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul, Galeri Nev İstanbul, Serap Kayhan, Dr. Safder Tarim, Büke Uras, and Birmingham East Mediterranean Archive, EPHE, Fonds Gabriel Millet, Collège de France, Fonds Thomas Whittemore, Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, as well as a 3D animation by A. Tayfun Öner that help animate the initial stages of the modern discovery of Byzantium and the path toward its heritage becoming an area of academic study, conservation, and widespread interest. 

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3D Virtual Tour

Exhibition Catalogue

From Istanbul to Byzantium

From Istanbul to Byzantium

From Istanbul to Byzantium: Paths to Rediscovery, 1800-1955 explores the pivotal role of Istanbul in the emergence of a new and international and local awareness of the city’s Byzantine heritage. 

From Istanbul to Byzantium: Paths to Rediscovery, 1800–1955 Exhibition Tour <br> Gülru Tanman

From Istanbul to Byzantium: Paths to Rediscovery, 1800–1955 Exhibition Tour
Gülru Tanman

Pera Museum and Istanbul Research Institute’s exhibition From Istanbul to Byzantium: Paths to Rediscovery, 1800–1955, curated by Brigitte Pitarakis, explores the central role of the Ottoman capital in shaping the emerging discipline of Byzantine studies.

Pera Learning

Half-Term Holiday Workshops

Pera Learning is organizing various online workshops for children between the ages of 7 to 12 as part of its Half-Term Holiday Learning Programs. The event will be held using the Zoom Meeting application, following a guided 3D virtual tour of the exhibitions.

Midnight Horror Stories: Pollens, Photosynthesis & Rock ‘N’ Roll <br> Murat Başekim

Midnight Horror Stories: Pollens, Photosynthesis & Rock ‘N’ Roll
Murat Başekim

Pera Museum Blog is launching a new series of creepy stories in collaboration with Turkey’s Fantasy and Science Fiction Arts Association (FABISAD). The Association’s member writers are presenting newly commissioned short horror stories inspired by the artworks of Mario Prassinos as part of the Museum’s In Pursuit of an Artist: Istanbul-Paris-Istanbul exhibition. The third story is by Murat Başekim! The stories will be published online throughout the exhibition. Stay tuned!

Mark Požlep

Mark Požlep

Our Cold Front from the Balkans exhibition focuses on different generations of artists and art groups from the Balkan region. Throughout the exhibition, we keep sharing detailed information about the artworks. Take a look at Mark Požlep’s “Stranger than Paradise” video installation. Also you can check our interview with the artist on our YouTube channel! 

At Once Ancient and All Too Contemporary  <br>Tatiana Trouvé

At Once Ancient and All Too Contemporary
Tatiana Trouvé

Pera Museum, in collaboration with Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), is one of the main venues for this year’s 15th Istanbul Biennial from 16 September to 12 November 2017.